The evolutionary self-conception of man

Author: Ferenc Buji

Own translation from Hungarian

Both tradition and science consider man the fruit of evolution. Their views often correspond even concerning the relation between “proofs”, as well as regarding other partial issues and mechanisms. But regarding man’s origin, source and purpose their views are in polar opposition to each other and their conception about the hidden path of man do not overlap in any way.

It’s well known that each epoch expresses itself through its arts. Art is a mirror through which – through the image of its projected self –  a given epoch may view, recognize, even wonder about itself. Arts provides a good opportunity for collective self-knowledge; its almost limitless subjectivity is in fact in service of this objectivity. This applies to all branches of art, but especially for its most communal one: to architecture. It’s enough to picture a typical Japanese, Chinese, Arabic or a Christian building from the Middle Ages, perhaps a modern Western one;  even if we can’t articulate the differences easily, we can perceive them quite intensively. The cultural distance between two monumental buildings of the Middle Ages and modern times, the Cologne Cathedral and the already non-existent World Trade Center, respectively, is quite remarkable. Both are the expressions of something that is inside, in the minds and hearts of people of the given eras. Right now we don’t intend to examine what this difference is, because with this work we want to approach the same thing not from the point of view of art history, but from the point of view of the history of science. The same thing, because art is only one of the tools of self-expression of a particular era and culture. Just like it’s not only his physiognomic features that reveal the particularities of an individual, but everything he thinks, says and does, everything that he shows interest towards, all the expressions of an era and culture is characteristic of that particular era and culture; and what could possibly be more typical of the modern West than science and its most characteristic product, evolutionism?

Evolution as man’s evolution

Evolutionism is without precedence; so much so in fact, that there is no appropriate word for it. The Latin term evolutio doesn’t mean what is meant by it today but it refers to the unfolding of potentiality from a seed-like, germinal state. Thus, in the original sense of the word evolution means ontogenesis, the evolution of the individual being. Phylogenesis on the other hand, which is behind the modern conception of evolution, doesn’t mean the unfolding of a potentiality from a seed-like state, since the original cell, from which -according to the general assumption- all beings developed, including humans, did not contain the potent potentiality of all these beings. When from an evolutionist point of view, quite recklessly, a parallel is drawn between ontogenesis and phylogenesis and it is pointed out that during the stage of ontogenesis that takes place in the womb the human embryo goes through animal phases, similar to those man went through during his phylogenesis, it is forgotten that during all this it has always been human and the initial form is only different from the final one in as much as the former is potentially, while the latter is actually human.  So the parallels between ontogenesis and phylogenesis only point out that the human being during his phylogenesis is not an animal, but only appears so and in actuality he goes through ever higher stages of his human actualization until becoming an actual human being.  For such a process we may rightfully apply  the term “evolution” or “unfolding” – but for a process described by evolutionist theory, referring to some kind of gradual quantitative development (like how a small snowball may become, through rolling, a large one) and not to the unfolding of an innate potential, well, such a process may only be described as “additive”.  This way it would be more appropriate to call evolutionism addition-theory.

The reason why no appropriate word has been found for the phenomenon called evolution is quite simple: man has never witnessed the evolutionary process in the modern sense; never in the past, not today.  It concerns a misinterpreted expression that lacks empirical reality and this can’t be helped by modern scientific efforts since true evolutionary change has never been observed or triggered by them and thus evolution, up until today, hasn’t managed to transcend the realm of pure theory. Gilbert K. Chesterton was right when he quipped: a miracle -i.e. that a primitive animal form becomes human- is not any less likely just because it happens slowly.

I have already addressed the internal inconsistencies of the doctrine of evolution in another work(1) supporting an alternative explanation of scientific evidences from several angles. Such explanations may be called e-volution, i.e. gradual unfolding of man through fragmentary but more and more complete levels. The essence of this process is that evolution – the only evolution – is the evolution and unfolding of man from a seed-like potentiality precisely according to the pattern of ontogenesis. The still unspecialized original forms of animal species broke off of this evolving stem in a given point of vertical human evolution and, remaining on roughly the same evolutionary level, they spread horizontally, i.e. they produced various forms through non-evolutionary modifications.

Thus the animal species are the by-products of human evolution and in the same time each species depicts an evolutionary dead-end, in other words each is an evolutionary final product fully incapable to serve as the source for further evolutionary processes. Precisely as in the case of a pine tree: the tree doesn’t grow through the branches but through the trunk. Once the branches branch out from the trunk they loose their vertical “momentum”. Only the trunk grows vertically – but the trunk needs the branches because they provide the conditions for growth. Modern evolutionist scientists believe that evolution (the vertical growth of the tree) is the characteristic of the whole biosphere, but it is only characteristic of the human evolutionary trunk (the trunk of the tree) and the entirety of the biosphere comes into being through the branching out from this evolutionary trunk, i.e. precisely by “losing” the evolutionary momentum. This also shows that the various evolutionary levels are not connected to each other directly: what connects them is the trunk of the tree: the unfolding of man.

Let’s notice that the higher evolutionary level we look at, the less abundant the animal species are. On the level of anthropoid apes, the highest animal level directly preceding humans we find only three species (orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee) while on the level of one cell organisms there are approximately forty thousand species (!); this shows that variability -quite “unnaturally”- is reversely proportional with simplicity. This, however, precisely corresponds with the pine tree analogy since the lower branches of the pine tree are much more numerous and longer than the upper ones. We should also not forget that the hiatus between humans and anthropoid apes has been filled by at least a hundred species; with some exaggeration we may say that each fossil found means a new species. This means that the evolutionary section between the last animal branch from the human evolutionary tree and homo sapiens again exhibits an increased richness of species. At this point we find and interesting phenomenon that may not be explained by natural causes: each of the species that had already transcended the animal level but didn’t reach the actual human level yet, all died out – more precisely, as reject humans they had to go extinct. When it comes to animals, their existence had an independent foundation: they were perfect in their closed specialization as evolutionary side-products, since on their own level the individuals of each species are complete and perfect; however, in regards to humanoids, i.e. the species whose fossilized remains are researched by human paleontology, these are actually the unsuccessful experimental products of human evolution – imperfect human products that are neither animals nor humans. This is why each and every one of these species had to go extinct; not because they were not fit for survival but because they lost their foundation of existence as soon as humans came to the scene and realized what these species represented in an imperfect form(2).

In fact the extraordinary abundance of fauna and flora could only develop because the species don’t develop further, since if evolution was universal, no inferior species would have remained and with a slight exaggeration we could say that in that case only humans would populate Earth. This characteristic evolution-resistance of nearly the whole biosphere is well observable on the American and Australian continents that had split from the main Eurasian continent where evolution got stuck on the same level where it was at the time of the separation. (So “marsupial man” in Australia is not the product of autochton evolution but the result of a more recent migration). But jokes aside, we can only talk about evolution where the only evolving human trunk-line is present, since evolution may only happen through this. This way it’s not man that originates from animals, but the opposite: animal species originate from man. The last and highest level of branch from the vertical human evolutionary trunk is represented precisely by anthropoid apes. Indirectly, this is also confirmed by the most recent scientific concepts, as well: “It is likely that bipedal walking…developed in the common ancestors of early humanoids and the current anthropoid apes” (Hungarian Lexicon – “bipedal”). What this means is nothing less than that the ancestors of current anthropoid apes were bipedal and only later did they switch to a hanging mode of life required for trees; in other words: it was not the monkey that came down from the trees in order to become human, but the human – a not yet perfect, but already bipedal human- went up to the trees in order to become monkey(3). This way the whole biosphere serves as the environment of human evolution and this biosphere was created by man for himself – from himself.

People of previous eras were of course not interested in the origin of man along these lines although, through the book of Genesis, both the Jewish, the Christian and the Muslim traditions were aware that first the water animals, then the animals of the sky, then the animals of land, and only last did man appear on earth. According to traditional views man was first of all a spiritual being (since his being human is determined by his spirit and not by his body) and as such he had a divine origin reaching his current state only through a gradual descent.  This descent is the gradual increase of distance from God, in other words from his Source. What’s important here is of course not the temporal distance, but the ontological one.

According to sacred traditions this gradual sinking was occasionally accelerated by immense falls. The last such fall, according to Judeo-Christian tradition, -not counting certain pre-historical and historical lapses that occurred later- was the original sin and being outcast from paradise. We can speak about two processes that are in a certain sense in opposition to each other: on the one hand, there is an evolutionary process, the phylogenetical unfolding of man which may be viewed as a process of ascent; on the other hand there is a process of descent, the gradual sinking of the man of heaven, of man near God as non-physical being which may be viewed as the de-actualization or potentialization of the man of heaven, something that may be described as a process opposite to that of unfolding in an evolutionary sense. These two lines meet in a certain point and this point is the appearance of the actualized man of earth, i.e. the appearance of homo sapiens. This is the point where the unfolding of man as an earthly being reached a stage where he was capable of accepting the man of heaven who spiritually “engendered” him. This is the point where the heavenly being reached the stage where he had to immerse himself into the dense material world, i.e.  when – to use orphic-neoplatonic terminology- he lost his wings and fell into the material world, or when – to use biblical terminology- he received a garment of skin. Thus man is an angel that fell on earth and is enclosed into a body, standing at the intersection of two worlds: matter and spirit, body and soul. And as the ontogenesis of earthly man is in analogy with his phylogenesis, the “ontogenesis” of the man of heaven is also in analogy with his “phylogenesis”, since according to various sacred traditions, the individual human being goes through roughly the same pre-existential and pre-natal levels during his descent into his bodily form as the stages though which the descent of man as a non-physical celestial being took place.(4)

It would lead too far to show the traditional illustration of these processes, nevertheless it is worthwhile to draw attention to two texts of fundamentally different nature: to the Mayan creation myth and to Poimandres, a hermetic text from the Hellenistic period. Regarding the former, when two proto-parents, Tepeu (the Creator) and Kukumac (the Shaper) created the various animals (with the exception of the monkey) they saw that even though the animals can emit sounds, they can’t  remember and pray to the creators. This is why they created man, first from mud, but when they saw that he’s no good (“because he dissolves”), they destroyed him. Then the second time they created man from wood. These were “similar to man, they spoke like man and populated Earth…but they had neither soul nor sense. They didn’t remember their Creator [didn’t know religion]. They populated Earth in large numbers but [then] they were destroyed…their fate has become death”. On the one hand they were destroyed by the flood, on the other hand the elements of their natural environment revolted against them and attacked them: the animals, the caves and their tools: their mill stones, their clay pots, their baking pens, their houses [these already possessed some material culture]. “This is how- continues the text – the created man with a bestowed form, destined for ruin and extinction, deteriorated. All of their mouths and faces got ruined (5).  It is said that these became the monkeys of the forests. Monkeys are the remnants from those whom the Creator and Shaper made of wood. This is why monkeys are similar to people as the remnants of creatures who were only … puppets made of wood” (6).

The creation of man as we know him today could take place only after this. While this creational myth illustrates that the path leading to homo sapiens leads through more and more perfect pre-human stages which due to their fragmented nature partially went extinct and partially, due to a dehumanization process (cf. ruining the mouth and the face) they became the sources for apes, the above mentioned hermetic dialogue talks about how celestial man descended to the point when, immersing himself into material nature, he became earthly man. The essence of the dialogue may best be summed up with the words of Mircea Eliade: “The highest androgyn Intelligence, nus, first creates Demiurge who creates the world and then creates Anthropos, the celestial man. This one descends into the lower sphere where, seducedŤ by the love of a ťa, he unites with Nature (Physis) and begets earthly man. From this point on Anthropos ceases to be an independent entity because he bestows a soul on man: his life becomes a human soul, his light becomes a nus. This is the reason why among all earthly creatures only man is simultaneously mortal and immortal. Through knowing however, man may become god” (7).

Modern man in the mirror of evolutionism 

How a culture conceives the origin of man speaks about how it perceives its own ultimate essence: how it views itself, how it thinks about itself. Each and every genesis-conception -starting with the first chapters of the Book of Genesis to the theory of evolution of modern man- is the special expression of this; even more: through its genesis-interpretation of man each culture is seeking its own identity. Because the beginning, the origin, the source also depicts a norm and this is quite visible in the different origin – interpretations of tradition and modernity.

According to the former, man comes from above. This doesn’t only mean that man has a divine origin (since ultimately everything has a divine origin (8)), but also that he is theomorph, his form is god-like. This becomes blatantly evident even in such a religion as the Jewish one that presumes an almost insurmountable distance between man and God since according to the Book of Genesis God created man in his own image. According to the main religions of the Far East the ultimate essence, the true self of man is none other than the Absolute itself, and thus not only has man as a constrained creature cast into space and time his origin in the Absolute, but his ultimate goal is also in knowing and experiencing his absolute nature.

So being in “the image of God” is a special privilege within the category of being of divine origin: it shows that the entity doesn’t only originate from above but also contains a certain imprint of the Above in himself. Also, the Above is not only a Source but also a Magnet. For what / who comes from above, his origin – knowingly or unknowingly – becomes his ultimate point of orientation: ultimately everything is striving towards this divine source; as Saint Augustine put it: “Our heart is disturbed, oh Lord, until it finds solace in you”. Thus the ancients saw themselves as having a divine origin, because when they viewed themselves, what they saw was not their animal-like physical being, but that specific feature that only they possessed: their spiritual soul (9).

The soul is striving upward, it wants to unite with its source. The intention to align up, the will to correspond to the Above or the specific desire to reintegrate into the Source is quite evident in traditional civilizations. The former resulted in a social order and sacredness that determined all traditional cultures, including those that were more or less still alive in Europe quite recently: peasant culture; regarding the latter, it resulted in spiritual paths that lead man to experiencing his own divine being. Tamás Nyíri’s words apply not only to Christian civilizations of the Middle Ages: “The whole essence and structure of the Middle Ages was rooted in religion and they unequivocally stood on the side of the spirit.” This applies to all traditional cultures, be it Indian Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist, Saracen Muslim, Inka, Maya, Khmer: they all stood on the side of the spirit, i.e. on the side of transcendence as a definite normative factor and ultimate point of orientation.

To paraphrase Tamás Nyíri we can also say that the whole essence and structure of the modern era is rooted in science and it unequivocally stands on the side of matter – namely on the side of economics, technology and consumption; in other words on the side of the body. When modern man views himself he doesn’t recognize the image of God in himself, but – looking in the distorted mirror of the faces of anthropoids of our era – sees instead the image of his animal and ape-like ancestors. With his science he continues working towards minimizing the distance between man and anthropoid apes. They emphasize for example that there is merely 1% difference between the protein structures of man and chimpanzees, but they never mention that when it comes to social life, it is not the chimpanzees – who live in hordes – but singing birds, living in stable relationships that are closest to us (and that –horribile dictu!- are bipedal, similarly to man (10)). Yet, through targeted experiments they try everything to turn apes, especially chimpanzees, into humans. If what’s human is not defined in terms of a transcendent reality, it is necessarily prone to be defined by sub-human influences. “Giving up a value opens up the gate to something inferior” – says Gábor Czakó. Denying the supra-human automatically gives way to affirming the sub-human since man can’t be the starting position by himself – if his origin is not sought above, it may only be sought below. And whatever originates from below, will necessarily carry the mark of their origin. Man in an evolutionary sense is just an ape that rose up (by coming down from the tree) or if we follow man’s origin even deeper, he is just a “pile of atoms”. The superior is essentially humiliated when explained from the inferior; in the current case it is in fact lowered to dust.  If somebody thinks of himself in an evolutionary sense, he may rightfully say to himself with the words of the Catholic liturgy: “…dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (11). Furthermore, the concept of evolutionism simply implies that the ultimate source of everything is dead matter: if we are seeking the ultimate conclusion of evolutionism then its starting position should not be matter, but nothing, since nothing is decidedly more primitive than matter. And truly, according to the most recent -and rather daring- cosmological concepts the proto-seed of the universe from which the whole world came into being quite simply emerged from nothing.

To consider the acceptance or rejection of evolutionism to be merely a question of world-views would be quite superficial: those with an atheist and materialist world view accept it while those with a theist and idealist world view reject it. No, the differences here are rooted much deeper since positions on world views often contain a certain theoretical contingency. With some exaggeration we may even say that world views often come down to education and family background. The ideology of evolution doesn’t supplement or opposes the ideology of creation; this is supported by the cases of many scientists (the best example in this regard is perhaps Teilhard de Chardine). What stands in opposition to evolution may probably be only what the Judeo-Christian holy scripture calls falling into sin which is essentially a gradual drifting away from the divine Principle and principles. Modern man  doesn’t want to see himself fallen into sin, as turned against the divine will, as a creature in the state of being cast away. The reason why modern man so desperately holds on to his own animal nature (12) is because this way he feels emancipated from everything that may offer him superior, normative values. Modern man wants to be his own master, he wants to set his own laws; he’s not willing to recognize anything superior above himself. “There is no God and even if there was, he should be shot down” – declared one of the rather honest slogans of the Paris Commune. He should be shot down because he disturbs man through the moral order, even by his very existence. Explicit atheism is implicit anti-theism and materialist atheism, that is based almost exclusively on negation, managed to find in evolutionism something which is not merely an empty denial but the essential anti-image of the sacred world-view.

Just like the state form of modern man is democracy, in which power originates from below, i.e. the legitimate source of power are the people above which power is exercised, evolution may also be interpreted as a “popular initiative” of nature: nature “produces” the “power-elite”, man,  from itself. By siding with the Below, modern man sealed his fate. Those who are not willing to commit to serving things superior to themselves, are forced by inferior things to serve them instead. To originate the superior from the inferior is the same thing as considering the inferior superior. Modern society provides a million signs of this confused view, of the apotheosis of the inferior, of the overall materialization supported by a sophisticated, chiseled, high level technical apparatus: “How human can a society be where the value of man is determined by markets, like that of a sack of potatoes” – as Gábor Czakó summed it up. Similarly to how the Above hidden in  the Below, the immanence of transcendence meant the possibility of ascent for the ancients, the Below hidden in the Above triggers the necessity of descend for all those who/that internalize the soil-smelling values of modernity.

So the fundamental question is: what is the Source since Source has the power of creation. The god of modernity is Matter. Nietzsche said it using the Platonic terminologies of “becoming” and “existence”: “What we need to do is bestow becoming [the universe] with the characteristics of existence [God]”. Becoming, i.e. Matter, this antigod of modernity is what keeps the “theo”-logie of the modern era mesmerized: natural sciences. Science, as it is practiced today, i.e. the obsessed  and minuscule research of immanence unequivocally results in turning away from transcendence. The man of past eras didn’t feel the slightest inclination to research nature since he saw, besides the nature side of nature just as clearly if not more clearly the decay side of nature, as well. Nature and decay are the upward and downward paths of the same reality, more precisely – since the word “reality” was reserved for God- of the same process. So natural sciences may be rightfully called the science of decay since whatever is supernatural is also – and this is the important point – above decay.

It is quite natural that such a mega-context as modernity, in order to understand man and the whole biosphere reached to a theory that corresponds to its own preconditions. All fundamental parts and elements of modernity is conditioned by modernity itself and it’s prepared to accept only whatever corresponds with its world-view (13).

The facts – especially the fossil remains- could be interpreted differently, even in the opposite way; in fact, they could be more seamlessly interpreted as the evolution of man – but for this, modernity would have to give up on itself. Instead of reaching for a radically different theory that is more in line with the facts than evolutionism, they keep on patching this one up; only a large scale project in scientific history could gauge for example how many times they had to re-write the evolution of man in light of new facts, not only always re-classifying the fossilized remains of various types of anthropoids, but adjusting even their age to the theories popular at the time. While all new scientific theories imply – sometimes openly declare-  that the previous ones are false, and while among all the theories about the same thing maybe one is correct and the rest are false in the best case scenario, science has managed to create the illusion of being infallible and possessing the truth. Nowadays everybody is convinced that if something is stamped with “Science” there is no more room there for doubts and hardly no intellectual label imaginable is more serious than declaring something to be unscientific – so much so that modern man is much more forgiving about scientific mistakes than about truths that are unscientific.

The supposed preciseness and exactness of natural sciences reflect a similarly false suggestion. Natural sciences may only be exact as long as they don’t deal with nature itself, but with its mathematical or geometrical – in other words with a quantified and abstract – segment. To measure: this is the ideal of man with a good rational but with a medium or rather weak intellectual disposition. Since man takes possession of the world through measuring, this is what he developed to perfection. Nature however is full of qualities that not only don’t lend themselves to exact examination, but they are not even observable by the modern, reductionist natural sciences; and this is precisely what makes nature what it is. The way natural science describes “nature”, the way it tries to squeeze it into the straight jacket of its mechanistic and quantitative categories is that if we translated the scientific description back to the language of reality – i.e. if we tried to reconstruct nature from its scientific description – we would get a world that -as a sort of phalanstery- would not only be intolerable for man but it would be decidedly virtual. The world of man and the world of science are not even similar to each other. The scientist as natural scientist doesn’t know anything about what the natural scientist knows a lot about as man. For example mechanics constitute only a small part of nature. Nature doesn’t work like a mechanical machine, it doesn’t contain geometrically perfect “ideal bodies”. The laws of mechanics work only on paper, in theory, but in reality they may only be applied approximately. It is not mechanics that’s truly a natural science, i.e. that par excellence deals with nature but for example meteorology -and as far as the exactness of meteorology is concerned everybody has their own experiences.

But if we stay in the domain of pure observation, here’s another classical natural science, the other pride of modern man, astronomy which -when it comes to areas outside our solar system  -, due to huge distances in space and time, doesn’t examine the current state of the universe, but the projected image of the past that remained visible only due to its own inertia, a sort of mirage-image that is “shifted” if not in space then certainly in time. Because where it thinks it is witnessing the birth of a star, that start may be dying right now, if it is still there in the first place. Astronomy is in a constant and necessary phase-delay – a phase – delay that’s often several millions of years big.

So what comes from below essentially always stays below: it conserves this baseness. Man creates big works or a new world in vain, ultimately he’ll remain: dust. If the starting point below, the destination will also be below. Even if the Below may keep man on a long leash, with this leash eventually it will pull him back. If the origin is below, so is the final resting place. If however somebody or something originates from above, he will essentially always stay above: he’ll indelibly conserves the sign of his superior origin. But since when it comes to man we are always in the domain of awareness and freedom, no such automatisms may emerge here, as in the case of materialistic immanentism. But while man conserves in himself (in his existence) -to use the terminology of Judeo-Christian tradition- the sign of the image of God, he’ll only become such in his consciousness too, if he makes himself such. But he can only make himself such in his consciousness because he is already such in his existence. If he doesn’t achieve this, then although in his existence he returns to his divine origin, in his consciousness – in his knowledge, in his self-reflection in his awareness – however he may drift the farthest away from it.

According to the Hindu conception, divine reality has three aspects: existence (sat) – consciousness (cit) – bliss or salvation (ananda). One of the saints of India of the 20ths century, Nisargadatta Maharaj says the following about the relationship of these three elements: “The awareness of existence is salvation”; and precisely this is the solution that the spiritual traditions of the ancients represented: to lead man back to the blissful experience of completeness by making him conscious -through its de-potentialization and re-actualization- of original existence, that he lost during his descend. Because just as only the one may become man who is  – even if only potentially- essentially already man, so may man only become once again a divine being, because he once used to be.

The question of the origin of man is of fundamental importance but not for learning where man originates from but for learning what is in facto man: a fallen angel or a risen ape – a sleeping God or a pile of atoms; and there is no doubt that a man who considers himself of animal origin builds for himself a fundamentally different world than somebody who is aware of his divine origin.


1. Az emberré vált ember. Budapest, 1999, IGEN Katolikus Kulturális Egyesület, pages 7–75.

2. If we assumed that they went extinct for lack of fitness we’d encounter another mystery that could not be solved through natural means: why did all of the several dozens of species between humans and animals go extinct after being fit for several hundreds of thousands, or millions of years? We have already answered this: because they were neither animals, nor people: they were reject humans. According to the accepted scientific position neither of the animal species living today is identical with any species that would belong to the line of human phylogenesis – in other words all the direct and indirect progenitors of humans died out.

3. We must mention here that the known scientific notion whereby the transition from the arborealis (hanging) mode of life to the bipedal one played a significant role in the evolution of man is a typical evolutionary myth. It is obvious that on a flat savanna, a monkey that comes from an arborealis mode of existence is sentenced to death in two ways. First, because it lacks its normal food (fruits) and it’s not suitable to eat any of the two main food sources offered by the savanna: it’s not suitable for grazing because of its internal digestion system and it’s also not suitable for hunting because it lacks speed and appropriate weapons. Second, because of its way of moving on the terrain, the monkey would immediately become prey for predators, considering it can’t move as fast as the other plant eating prey. Being bipedal means a specific disadvantage from the speed point of view (if they need to escape, the apes today also always run on all four). If for example – ad absurdum- birds could not fly, thereby taking advantage of this path of escape, they would immediately go extinct. From this point of the view the tree for a monkey means the same thing as flying for a bird, thus a monkey transitioning from the trees to the flat terrain would have immediately gone extinct.

It is however very likely that the progenitors of the higher apes of today that branched out from the human evolutionary trunk were gradually dehumanizing, and losing their skills necessary for the flat terrains they were seeking refuge and food in the trees. Only the strong (predators), the fast (plant eaters) or the hiding (rodents) animals are capable of surviving on the savanna – and of course man who through his intelligence and auxiliary skills (like the use of weapons) can not only compensate for his physical disadvantages, but can even dominate the animals of the savanna.

4. Regarding the descend of the individual see: Buji Ferenc: Genezis. Egy gyermekrajz metafizikai tanulságai. Magasles. Esszék és reflexiók a tradíció távlatából. Budapest, 2003, Kairosz Kiadó, pages 149–190.

5. The Maya – K’iche’ language often uses the expressions mouth and face to depict the I, the subject. Popol Vuh. A maja-kicse indiánok szent könyve. Budapest, 1984, Helikon Kiadó, 168. old. (notes from Lajos Boglár and Péter Kuczka)

6. A világ teremtése. Amerikai mondák és legendák. Budapest, 1990, Nótárius Könyvkiadó, pages 7–15.  cf. Popol Vuh. A maja-kicse indiánok szent könyve, pages 7–17.

7. Mircea Eliade: History of Religious Ideas, Volume 2: From Gautama Buddha to the Triumph of Christianity.

8. As Andras Laszlo says: “Man’s origin is essentially not natural, which can also be said about nature itself”. Andras Laszlo: Solum Ipsum – Metaphysical Aforisms, Aphorism 424.

9. Many of the pre-modern religious and spiritual texts call the physical aspect of man decidedly animalistic. Ancient man was fully aware that the physicality of man -even though it doesn’t originate from them- is closely related with animals. It’s enough to remember how Saint Francis of Assisi called his body -not without humor- “donkey brother”. We should not forget also, that animals, in the eyes of the ancients, were not without soul (cf. Lat. anima [“soul”] and animal [“animal”]), although they considered the soul of animals to be of different nature than the soul of man.

10. Being bipedal by the way is quite an ancient feature of animal life: even the first generation of land animals, the dinosaurs were mostly bipedal.

11. The liturgy applies this of course only to the physical part of man

12. “Theories of descent not only declare that man originates from the animals, but also that man is an animal.”  András László : Solum Ipsum, aphorism 598.

13. To what degree knowledge and science may be conditioned by the historical-societal context is clearly shown by the fact that in Central-Eastern Europe dialectic and historical materialism, political economics and scientific socialism was scientific truths with armies of scientists behind them, all the way until the 1990’s. And all this, with the collapse of  Soviet Bolshevism almost immediately became history: what was previously unquestionable, from one day to the other became ridiculous. What would have happened if the Soviet Union had not collapsed but had managed instead to “socialize” the whole world? … democratico-liberal modernity is also a megacontext like the Bolshevik variation; the difference is that due to its global presence no political alternative opposes it anymore (its only alternative is Islam) although its basic ideology contains not any less absurdity than socialism.


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One Response to The evolutionary self-conception of man

  1. Alex says:

    I would lean to the side of the orthogenesis if anything.


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